Fact or Fiction: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Evan Dombrosky, MD


September 15, 2023

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. RA is thought to develop when a genetically susceptible individual experiences an external trigger that causes an autoimmune reaction. The peak age of onset is between 30 and 50 years of age. Without adequate treatment, disease activity can lead to permanent joint and bone damage. Extra-articular involvement of organs such as the skin, heart, lungs, and eyes can also occur and markedly affect quality of life. The estimated global prevalence of this chronic inflammatory arthritis is 246.6 per 100,000 in the general population.

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